Mike Mikurak, a Republican running for the Pinellas County Commission, has released a video ad that accuses Democratic opponent Charlie Justice of being a career politician who is “dishonoring the peoples’ business.”
It’s a theme that Mikurak has repeatedly pounded during the campaign: that of businessman vs. career politician.
In the 31-second ad, Mikurak says:
“For most of my life, I worked around the world giving businesses and governments the chance to succeed through innovation, hard work and by doing right for others.
“But, here in Pinellas, the peoples’ business is being dishonored by career politicians who waste our money and gamble with our future. So I’m running to make Pinellas’ business my business.”
As Mikurak is talking about his business past, information flashes on the screen: “Helped found a $31 billion corporation,” “10 global business patents,” and “past board chairman St. Anthony’s Hospital.”
As he talks about career politicians, a picture of Justice flashes on the screen accompanied by the words: “career politician Charlie Justice.” The image also includes a reference to a Tampa Bay Times editorial concerning a “$16.5 million mistake.”
The reference is to the amount of judgment the Richman Group of Florida, a developer, won in a court case against the Commission. The judge in the case ruled that the Pinellas board had erred when member unanimously voted to deny Richman a proposed zoning and land use change. The case is on appeal.
Mikurak, a retired businessman who co-founded Accenture, is making his first run for public office. Justice, who is seeking his second term on the commission, has also served in both the state House and Senate.
They are running for the District 3 at-large seat, which is voted on countywide. The election is Nov. 8.